Kirkwall Guided Tours

It’s the main town in Orkney, home to St Magnus Cathedral, the Medieval Palaces and the County Agricultural Show.

But how well do you really know Kirkwall? The origins of the present town date back to Viking times, although there is plenty of evidence to show that there was a settlement here for thousands of years.

A walk with Dragon History tour will reveal some of the secrets, the stories, the characters:

  • Why is there a Castle Street but no Castle?
  • What are the small holes by the doors and windows of the shops and buildings on the main streets?
  • Why is the statue of St Olaf standing on a scaly dragon?
  • Where is there an ancient graveyard beneath the pavement?
  • What was the fate of the boat nick-named ‘The Coffin’?

You can choose from two Kirkwall tours, the History Walk and the Creepy Tour.

The History Walk takes you from the harbour to the Cathedral, through the main streets and focuses on the wide-ranging history of Kirkwall. It includes a guided tour of St Magnus Cathedral, time permitting. Your guide walks with you, tells the tales and answers your questions.

The Creepy Tour follows a slightly different route, through some of the smaller lanes, and concentrates more on the darker side of Kirkwall’s past – the witches, the foul deeds, the ghostly sightings and more. The guide Fran dresses in a long black cloak and shares with you all the weird bits of history!

  • Starting point: The cemetery gates at the St Magnus Cathedral, Broad Street
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Cost: Adult £5.00, concession £4.00, child (15 and under) £1.00